The Mei-ling Palace of Nanjing Looks Like a Giant Necklace

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The Mei-ling Palace, located on the top of Xiaohong Hill in eastern Nanjing city, was once the home of China’s former president Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mayling before they fled to Taiwan in 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war. For decades, the building was kept as a state guesthouse and closed to the public until two years ago, when the villa was renovated and its doors thrown open to the public. From the air, the house resembles a giant emerald and the landscaping around it looks like a pendant and necklace. According to local rumors, the house was built as a birthday gift by Chiang for his wife Soong Mayling, and was designed that way as a symbol of love between the couple.

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Photo credit: cctvnews

The resemblance, however, was unintentional, revealed the director of the cultural relics office of the management bureau of the Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum Scenic Area. The “necklace” is actually a road with yellow-colored plane trees on the wayside that leads to the residence, while the palace's roof looks just like a cut emerald.

The palace was built between 1931 to 1934, and later named after Soong for her frequent visits when she was in Nanjing, then capital of the Republic of China. After Chiang Kai-shek, the villa remained unoccupied and fell into disrepair until it was handed over to Zhongshan Mountain National Park in 1950, who managed the palace as public property. Later it was leased out to several management departments, including the city's health bureau and a large hotel company. In 2012, it was put under the management bureau of Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, which also manages other historical buildings from the time when Kuomintang ruled China.

The palace underwent intensive renovation for a year during which the building was structurally reinforced, the wood flooring repaired, and the glazed green tiles of the roof replaced with new tiles of the same color and shape. A panel of experts from Beijing's Forbidden City, skilled in restoring painting on old buildings, was brought it to restore the numerous paintings that hung on walls inside the palace.

Since its opening in October 2013, tens of thousands people have visited the house located in Xiaohong Hill which is now a scenic spot.

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Photo credit: www.china.com.cn

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Photo credit: www.china.com.cn

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Photo credit: cctvnews

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Photo credit: cctvnews

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Photo credit: www.nipic.com

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Photo credit: www.china.com.cn

Sources: China Daily / Taipei Times / CriEnglish

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